Day 5 of the highly anticipated iQFOiL European Championships unfolded with unexpected wind conditions, testing the adaptability of the athletes in Patras, Greece. Originally planned for slalom racing, the gusty winds exceeding 12 knots swiftly transformed the day into exhilarating course racing. story continues below picture
Credit: @SailingEnergy / @iQFOiLClass
Patras, Greece - 13 May 2023
The race committee swiftly adjusted to the changing conditions, setting up a challenging trapezoid course on the water. The men's fleet completed two races, while the determined women's fleet managed to complete three races before the wind subsided, making it impossible to conduct further races.
With the conclusion of fleet racing, anticipation now turns to the intense Medal Series, scheduled for tomorrow. The top 10 male and female riders will compete in a thrilling format that consists of quarterfinals, semifinals, and a final race. The current ranking leaders automatically qualify for the final, while the second and third positions secure spots in the semifinals. The remaining athletes will commence their journey from the quarterfinals.
The rankings for the men's division are as follows: Sebastian Koerdel (GER 220) leads the pack in first place, followed by Luuc Van Opzeeland (NED 55) in second, and Kiran Badloe (NED 9) in third. In the women's division, Sharon Kantor (ISR 390) maintains her position at the top, closely trailed by teammate Shahar Tibi (ISR 3) in second, and Emma WILSON (GBR 7) in third.
As the highly competitive field battles for podium positions, the stakes are high. The current ranking leader is guaranteed a top-three finish, while the second and third-ranked contenders cannot fall below fifth place. The remaining riders in the top 10 have everything to gain and lose, as the athlete in 10th place still has the opportunity to seize the coveted first-place position.
Sharon Kantor, the frontrunner in the women's division, expressed her satisfaction with her performance thus far, stating, "The week was really good. I aimed to maintain my position at the top and managed to do so. I am very happy, and I am ready to give it my all tomorrow."
Looking ahead, the weather forecast for the final day promises extreme conditions, with winds potentially exceeding 40 knots. Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, the Class Manager, shared his determination to push the gear and conditions to their limits, pushing the boundaries of the new Olympic Class. The athletes and spectators alike await the thrilling conclusion to the iQFOiL European Championships, set to transpire tomorrow.
The iQFOiL Class, the "next Generation" of Olympic windsurfing, is rapidly gaining attention and reigniting interest in the sport. Replacing the RS:X at the Paris 2024 Olympics, the class showcases the relentless drive and talent of the athletes, propelling windsurfing back into the global spotlight.
Stay tuned as the iQFOiL European Championships in Patras, Greece, draw to a close.